Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating a TOC that Includes Specific Styles.

Creating a TOC that Includes Specific Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 11, 2017)

The normal way to create a table of contents (TOC) is to let Word automatically create one based upon the headings in a document. Each paragraph formatted with the Heading 1 style, Heading 2 style, and Heading 3 style are automatically pulled into the TOC.

There may be times when you want to create a TOC that includes paragraph styles other than the heading styles. For instance, you might have a paragraph style you've created for a specific purpose, such as for denoting all the product names in a document. You don't want to format these product names as headings; you instead want to format them with a special paragraph format that calls them out in some manner specific to your needs. (Let's say that you use the style named SpecialProduct for this purpose.) If you then, later, want to include those product names in a special TOC, you can follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the location in the document where you want the table of contents.
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. At the left of the ribbon click the Table of Contents tool. Word displays a few options.
  4. Click Insert Table of Contents. Word displays the Table of Contents dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Table of Contents tab of the Table of Contents dialog box.

  6. Click on the Options button. Word displays the Table of Contents Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Table of Contents Options dialog box.

  8. Change the TOC Level column so that a 4 appears next to the SpecialProduct style. (You may need to scroll down in the list of styles in order to find the SpecialProduct style.) This indicates that you want any paragraphs that are formatted using the SpecialProduct style to end up in the TOC and be formatted in that table with the TOC 4 style.
  9. Make sure there are no other numbers in the TOC Level column.
  10. Click on OK to close the Table of Contents Options dialog box.
  11. Click on OK to close the Table of Contents dialog box and generate the table of contents.

The result of creating this TOC in this way is that you have a list of all your products, and they are formatted in the list using the TOC 4 style. You can modify the TOC 4 style to reflect how you want the products to appear in the TOC.

You'll note that these steps used TOC level 4 (the TOC 4 style) for the products. The reason for this is simple—it allows you to leave TOC levels 1 through 3 (the TOC 1, TOC 2, and TOC 3 styles) for use in the regular TOC for the document. That way you can use different formatting for the regular TOC and the special product list TOC.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7123) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a TOC that Includes Specific Styles.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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